No, snakes do not cry. They cannot cry because they do not have eyelids. They have spectacles that are attached to their skin.
All reptiles are capable of producing tears. Snakes do, too. However, since the snake’s spectacles are attached to the skin, the tears cannot escape from the inside. As such, the tears cannot flow.
Snakes do not cry in the way humans do. They have little emotion. And while they produce tears, it happens for the physiological functions, not because the snake is going through stress.
Do Snakes Produce Tears?
Yes, snakes produce tears. Snakes have lacrimal systems like humans, and they produce fluids. The fluid passes in between the retina and the snake’s spectacles to keep the eyes wet.
Snakes have nasolacrimal ducts. It is where the tears flow, and they end up at the roof of the snake’s mouth. In humans, the nasolacrimal ducts drain the fluid through the nose.
Humans do not have clear scales on the eyes, or spectacles, like snakes do. Humans have eyelids. When humans cry, the tears flow through the eyes and the nose. This kind of crying, which is often induced by stress and emotions, is called psychogenic crying.
A spectacle is a clear scale. It is a scale that covers the eyes of the snake. Like humans, the snake also has eyeballs. However, the snake has a “glass” covering in its eyes. This spectacle, or eye cover, is attached to the snake’s skin. The spectacle protects the snake’s eyes from dust.
What is the Anatomy of a Snake’s Eyes?
To fully understand why snakes cannot cry, one must take a look at the anatomy of its eyes. Below you will see some important parts of the snake’s ophthalmology.
It is a clear scale that is fused to the snake’s skin. It is the equivalent of the human eyelid, but it does not blink. Some scientists call it the eye cap or the brille.
Since the snake has spectacles, it can sleep and still look like it is awake. Humans and other animals protect the eyes with eyelids. Their eyelids close when humans and animals sleep.
In between the spectacle and the snake’s cornea, one will find tear-like secretions. These are supposedly the tears.
The secretion is responsible for making sure that the cornea is clear. It is like wiping a car’s windshield from the inside to make sure that the outside is visible.
A snake’s spectacle, like its scale, also sheds. Some snakes, however, do not shed the spectacle, especially so if there are mites. A snake that does not shed its spectacles can develop corneal diseases. It can make them blind.
Snakes also produce tears that lubricate the cornea and the spectacle. The tears are what allow the sake to move their eyes from the inside.
Snakes also have what is called nasolacrimal ducts. These things function as a drainage system into the mouth.
A damaged duct can lead to a build-up of tears. Eventually, this damage will lead to what is called bullous spectaculopathy. It is a condition where the spectacle is bulging out of the snake’s eyes.
The snake’s pupil is typically round. However, there are some snakes whose pupils are slit vertically. The kind of pupil that the snake has depends on its hunting activities and habitat.
Diurnal snakes have round pupils, while nocturnal ones have slit pupils. Most pit vipers have vertical list pupils, but most coral snakes and non-venomous snakes have round ones.
As one can observe, snakes have similar eye structures to other animals. They also have sclera and cornea. However, the internal make-up or structure of the snake’s eyes have different rods and cones. It is the reason they have poor eyesight.
Can Snakes make a Crying Noise?
No, snakes do not make crying noises, but they make other sounds apart from hissing. Some snakes can shriek and even growl.
Not all snakes are capable of making these sounds. Most snakes make the same hissing sounds because of their anatomy. They have an epiglottis that allows them to breathe while they are swallowing food. The same epiglottis is the source of this hissing sound when they ass air through it.
Some snakes have a vocal cord. For example, the species called pine snake (Pituophis melanoleucus) has the ability to below and make it sound like it is shrieking.
Some snakes can growl. A king cobra can make this sound. The growl, however, is far from the sound of lions or dogs. One can still hear the hiss behind it.
Do Snakes Cry from Pain?
While snakes have emotions, the range is limited. The most common emotions of snakes are aggression and fear. It is the reason why they do hiss and growl. They also flee if they are afraid.
With this limitation, snakes are incapable of feeling love, anger, and hatred. They do not develop maternal or social attachments, and most of their actions are instinctive.
When snakes “cry” and make hissing and growling sounds, it is an indication that they feel threatened. So, the answer to whether they have feelings and cry is somewhat of a yes.
They feel fear, and they respond to it with a cry of warning. However, they never cry like humans, primates, and dogs do. Some animals, like dogs and monkeys, cry when they lose someone they are attached to.
For example, wolves howl, and some chimpanzees in the wild mourn the death of a baby. Snakes do not do this. Some of them even cannibalize their own kind.
Snakes cannot cry. While they have lacrimal systems, they cannot shed tears as humans do. The reason behind this is the scale in their eyes.
The scale is called a spectacle. It is a transparent scale that covers the eyes of a snake. This spectacle protects the snake’s eyes and replaces the human eyelid.
Since the spectacle is attached to the skin, the tears cannot flow out of the snake’s eyes. Instead, it flows to the roof of the snake’s mouth.